THE SOUTH Downs National Park would be ‘severely damaged’ by a northern bypass around Chichester, conservationists have argued.
The South Downs Society has urged residents to sign the ‘Chichester Deserves Better’ petition, opposing any potential northern route as part of plans to improve the A27.
Chairman Robert Cheesman said: “We fully recognise that there are major traffic issues on the bypass and understand the need for improvements, but those changes can be made to the existing route, not by constructing a major new expressway along the edge of the national park.”
The ‘Chichester Deserves Better’ group has, meanwhile, released details of a letter sent by a well-known developer to a local landowner, trying to secure an agreement to ‘promote and thereafter maximise the value of the land’.
The letter, which relates to more than 30 acres of green fields, states it is seeking land in Chichester which may have potential for strategic allocation at the next local plan review.
The group believes this ‘proves beyond any doubt that once the bypass is in, housing and other development will fill the entire gap between Chichester and the bypass’.